Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Could facebook ever replace my personal phone book?

I've recently began to take mental inventory of the various types of people I have met throughout the years and more specifically, the unique blend of facebook friends that I have acquired. In my effort to be a multidimensional, multicultural human being, facebook has allowed me the ability to tap into the pulse of my private America with interesting results.

What I find on fb on a daily basis ranges from the ridiculous (humorously so) to the sublime. I’m often impressed with my cerebral inventor friends whose outlet is creating a better technological world. These minds make me gasp with wonder and appreciation for boldly going…well you know the rest. I aspire to understand more about the advancement of technology but I exhale with the realization that this mantle will never be passed to me.

My writer friends are truly inspiring, as you may have guessed because it is always comforting to know that someone else has the same love affair with words as I do. I tend to read their blogs with encouragement and pride, silently cheering and expanding my vocabulary at the same time.

I have animal lover friends who love to post various pics of pets in humorous or cuddly situations for the sole purpose of getting an “awww” out of you. There are my inspirational quote friends who cannot pass up an opportunity to post a saying, scripture, or thought that is designed to give you that “aha” moment. My political friends never mind pushing the envelope and giving us all a piece of their minds about the current political state of affairs as it stands. The articles, jokes and commentary seem to have a, shall I say bend; to them while alerting us that we are politically doomed. Thanks guys, really.

My musical friends drop by with either their own original recordings or songs that they want to share with the rest of us because finger popping is addictive. There are gardeners on my page, chefs, athletes, artist, actors, singers, real estate agents, sports lovers, dancers, college students, musicians, health food specialist, Moms, Dads, photographers, Pastors, business owners and me. I guess you can say that my facebook community reflects me in many ways, I simply like variety.

However, in the best of worlds there are those times when one makes an assessment that may be less than popular but honest nonetheless. Every once in a while, I’ll log onto fb and catch a glimpse of a photo that jars me because of its intended shock value and I feel, well invaded, often times insulted. I try hard to stand for something that will uplift my surroundings and while I can never claim to always have uplifting thoughts, I consciously stay away from offensive sayings or material that cloud our daily experience instead of enhance it. I have unfortunately lost “friends” over the past years because I felt that my social media experience was being raided daily by anger, bigotry and hatred. Maybe people thrive off of such things but for me, it’s like pouring muddy water over a flower and expecting it to yield beauty.

Sexually explicit content, objectification of women or girls (which I find nothing short of passive aggressive violence against women) do not belong on social media, in my opinion. I often wonder if an individual who claims freedom of speech in regards to such behavior would stand online in the supermarket and hold up the latest issue of some sexy magazine and begin making random lewd comments about the women at the top of their lungs. I've never seen it happen but I would imagine that it would invoke a response from those in ear shot that would be less than favorable. I ask then, why oh why, do you choose social media to do the socially unacceptable?

I realize that women can be just as bad in this area these days. I see this as sexual retaliation, some form of empowerment if you will. However, it’s still muddy water, no matter who does the pouring.

I guess the obvious answer would be to use my ‘unfriend’ button and delete the people who chose to assault my senses at random times just to get a rise out of everyone, and it may lead to that. I find it sad however, that we lack so much respect for one another at times that we would choose our own insulting amusement over the people that we call friends.

Call me an optimist but I’m hoping that perhaps one day more people will seek to be part of the solution because this sophomoric problem is simply getting old.

Wouldn't you agree that better minds make a better world?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I Think He Was Wearing Nikes

I've been having the same conversation with multiple women for years now and it sounds like this: “I don’t know what happened, one minute we were inseparable (phone calls, dinner, lunch, movies etc…) and the next, he wouldn't even answer my calls?”

 Let’s face it, if you are of the female persuasion and have dated at least ONE man before marrying, chances are this has happened to you.

We have collectively consoled one another for years with hopeful theories such as: “maybe he just needed some time to think and sort things out before getting serious with you. Or, maybe he’s just overwhelmed with how much he cares about you…” We've privately mused about all types of scenarios that seem to ease the pain in the moment and end with us being swept away in a fairy tale return from Mr. Wonderful.

The truth about this reoccurring  disappearing man phenomena ladies, is only he knows why he chose to exit stage left after being completely present in the “moment” with you for a period of time. Whether you've made it too easy on him by always saying “yes” or whether you simply ignored the subtle hints of an impending departure, the fact is the answer lies completely with Mr. Wonderful.

I propose a new day and a new way of dealing with these vanishing Romeos that's bound to stir up controversy…MOVE ON. I know, I know, it’s easier said than done. I get it, He completes you. You connected on a level that has never happened before. I’m not making light, I've said all of these things myself but it still didn't change one simple factor, he left, without a trace and left you standing in the dust wondering why. Forgive him and move on. I don’t even want to add the clich├ęd ending, if he’s yours he’ll be back because you've taken up enough of your life’s time waiting for that to happen. Stand yourself up; go to your mirror and say: “It was wonderful, I've never laughed like that before, he was amazing but now, he’s gone.” Let the tears fall, wash your face and stop checking, your emails, voice mails  text, Twitter and Facebook page, just move on.

The amazing, light that flows from you that caught his attention is bound to catch someone else’s, if you let it. You can’t move forward with your head permanently fixed over your shoulder, so turn around to see ahead.

 No one can deny the pain of feeling jilted but there, on the other side of yesterday, is a greater joy awaiting you. Get out of the house, stop playing those depressing lonely songs, and begin to seek out fun and adventure in ways you've never done before. There’s nothing more attractive than a woman loving life and having fun. If you meet someone, take it slow, let him chase you, you have time. If he’s interested he’ll pursue you and believe me, you will know when it’s happening. Enjoy it. If things get serious, talk, ask about his intentions and try to get a better handle on whether he’s a potential runner or not. You’ll know the signs. If this guy wants to hang up his running shoes…he’ll show you.

At some point, you’ll look back at this time and remember how much it all felt so dismal to you.Always remember the strength that you gained when you made that one decision to move on. 

Hey lady, you’re worth the effort to change…

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Qualified by Fire...

I love the absolute joy that comes from talking one on one with a person who needs to be heard and understood. I love helping them to get to the root of their deepest pain and then together, we witness healing transformation. It’s amazing, it’s rewarding, it’s my not so new but revised life’s passion and it only took me my whole life to get here.

Years ago, a respected friend told me that she could see me becoming a Life Coach and helping people someday. I nodded and even tried to confirm what she saw but silently, I knew that I was too screwed up myself to help anyone at the time. I was in the middle of my own series of crisis that would last about 10 more years and I needed coaching badly.

Over time, I sought out counseling for my own issues, fears, un-forgiveness and failures. The process was grueling and visited time and again. I had a major collapse (doesn’t that sound much better than breakdown?) about eight years ago that stopped me in my tracks. I became an avid reader of books on wholeness and spiritual healing.  I went on depression medication. I took myself off of depression medication and by the grace of God have not used it sense. For the last three and a half years, I’ve been in solitude with God, wanting to get to the real purpose of my existence here on earth and to be free of the pain that seem to have been following me since childhood. You see, everything that I had been doing up until that point, church activities, putting a spiritual mask on, and trying to maintain a good image, could not stop the inevitable. I had to go to the backside of the desert to be healed.

I've cried alone, sang alone, read alone and walked alone…with God that is. I also went back to counseling, to hash out one of the deepest pains that seemed to surface whenever my resistance was low.  I treasure my counselor who walked me through this part of my journey and the time that she has spent with me over the years. Her work is priceless to me.

My first counseling session was around 1997 with one of my wisest friends to date. I found her knowledge of life, which came from her own pain and loss, to be comforting to say the least. Her relationship with God seemed more real than most human relationships and the fact that she was willing to listen to me about my wounds, was invaluable. We all want someone to hear and see us. We are still friends to this day and when the tide gets high and I need a hand to reach in and grab me onto dry land, she’s the one I call. I don’t think I’ll ever stop having a counselor in my life.

Knowing how much we need each other this way has propelled me into a new and exciting journey. Well, I guess the “new” part can be debated. I've always liked helping my friends out of dark places but inside I never really thought that it was life changing because of my own ills but now, I see how purposeful it is. Which is why, I answered a request a few weeks ago to meet a young lady, whom I think the world of, and listen to her heart. After spending a couple of hours at her dining room table, she looked at me and said “you should really do this for a living.”

 I asked her if she would like to continue the process and she said “yes”. I went home and began searching out Life Coaching information online, interestingly enough, I noticed that people tend to take it on in a wholly academic sense or a spiritual sense, I’m thinking…why not mix the two? My work begins to do just that.

In the last three weeks, after that initial visit with my friend, I have had multiple encounters with people that only confirm that I am in the right direction. My most surprising encounter so far was the one that started out as being a business meeting over lunch and two and a half hours later, we were discussing meeting on a regular basis to sort through the past, in order to get to the future for this individual.

I know that there are quite a few Gurus out there, who want to show you the path to enlightenment and well-being and perhaps sincerely so but my desire in this new endeavor is to simply say what I hear ‘the still small voice saying’ and walk with people through the process of transformation.

I know that God is the ultimate counselor, which makes it all the more humbling when He whispers in my ear…”Go forth and heal with me.”

This blog is dedicated to Marcella and Pam for showing me what ministry looks like. Thank you Ladies what a legacy.